Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Running with dogs

Before I start, let me just say that I am definitely NOT a runner. I have a goal to complete a 5k before September 2011, but I have not even really started on the road to running.

Tonight I went for a walk with the pup. Our regular loop is about 1.5 miles. On occasion, I get the urge to do a little jogging, but because I am so out of shape (and spring allergies don't really help either), I cannot maintain a jog for very long. Tonight we walked the first half of the loop, and then I alternated running a block and walking a block until we made it home for the second half of the loop.

On top of me not being a runner, here are two big challenges when running with our dog:

1. Her natural gait is about 7-8 miles per hour. My dad clocked her with the spedometer on his bike one time. Even if I were an in-shape jogger, that would be a pretty decent pace! (Her top speed, at a full sprint going downhill, is 18 mph.)

Here they are gearing up for a bike ride: My dad and Emma

2. She is a herding breed. Her natural instinct is to chase things that are running and to get them to go where she wants. So, when I start running, she generally tries to jump onto my leg. That really throws a wrench in trying to have an okay running form. I will say that she is getting better at this, but sometimes she just can't help herself.

Emma chases after everything... even waves

On the plus side, running makes her much more tired, so once I get my stamina built up, this will be a great doggy-calming technique. Until then, I will deal with the sore quads... not from running, but from being herded.

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